AQHA WORLD CHAMPION DANJER HEADLINES LEO STAKES NOMINATIONS, LIST PACKED WITH TOP HORSES FROM AROUND COUNTRY
The nominations list for the Grade 1, $100,000-added Leo Stakes was released Friday with the American Quarter Horse Association World Champion Danjer headlining a lineup that could produce multiple stakes winners from around the country.
The Leo Stakes, for 3-year-olds and up going 400 yards on Saturday, April 30, is jam-packed with nominations that have lit up toteboards in stakes races from here to California. Danjer would obviously be the top dog of these 24 nominations if he runs. Among the 24, four millionaire horses were nominated. Here’s a look at some of the top noms:
DANJER – 2021 AQHA World Champion who won five of seven starts last year, including five stakes wins at five different tracks. The 6-year-old gelded son of FDD Dynasty, out of the Take Off Jess mare Shez Jess Toxic, was beaten in the Leo Stakes last year at Remington Park by Jess My Hocks to begin his 2021 campaign. He followed that runner-up effort with wins in the Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship, the Championship Challenge at Canterbury in Minnesota, the All American Gold Cup at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, the Challenge Championship at the Downs at Albuquerque and finishing out the year victorious in the Refrigerator Stakes at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Trained and bred by Dean Frey, he is also owned by Frey in partnership with Downtime Enterprises (Patrick Guthrie) and Billy G. Smith. Record: 26 starts, 15 wins, six seconds and three thirds for $1,503,885 in earnings.
CANDY BLOOD – This 4-year-old gelding by Apollitical Blood, out of the Wave Carver mare Ranch Candy, is owned by Rick Sumner and Dunn Ranch (Matt Dunn) and was bred in Oklahoma by Sumner. Since winning the $100,000 Dee Raper Sooner State Stakes on April 16, this stakes winner has switched barns from trainer Monty Arrossa to Heath Taylor. Record: 18-9-3-1, $477,475.
CHARLIES FURY – One of two that trainer Michelle Hurdle has nominated, the other being Jess My Hocks. Charlies Fury, a multiple stakes winner at Remington Park, is coming off a black-type win here in the Mr Jet Moore Stakes. He is a 6-year-old gelded son of Furyofthewind, out of the Take Off Jess mare Jess Charlena. He and Jess My Hocks are half-brothers, from the same dam (mom). Charlies Fury also won the Bob Moore Stakes in 2021 here for owners Tom and Kathleen McNally. Record: 27-11-7-5, $405,801.
EMPRESSUM – This 4-year-old gelding by Apollitical Jess, out of the First Down Dash mare Crazy Down Corona, showed a lot of class in his 3-year-old year, winning two-thirds of the Triple Crown for that age group at Ruidoso Downs. He took down the Remington Park Derby in April, the Ruidoso Derby in June and the Rainbow Derby in July before finishing fifth in the All-American Derby. He concluded his year with a win in the Texas Classic Derby at Lone Star Park. He is owned by Jeff Jones and Steve Holt and trained by Heath Taylor, who also nominated Shott Gun for this race, 2020’s winner of the Heritage Place Futurity. Empressum is looking to win for the 10th time in his past 12 starts. He is a home-bred for his owners. Record: 18-13-1-0, $1,098,629.
FLASH BAK – Raced second, beaten only three-quarters of a length in the Champion of Champions race at the end of 2021 at Los Alamitos. Prior to that race in December this 4-year-old gelded son of Moonin the Eagle, out of the Check Him Out mare Checknbac, won the Los Al Super Derby in November. He is owned by Valeriano Racing Stables (Sammy Valeriano). He was bred in Missouri by Jim Streelman and Bill Dale. Record: 18-8-6-1, $1,072,374.
JESS MY HOCKS – The second multiple stakes winner from the McNallys for trainer Hurdle. This 5-year-old gelding by Kiss My Hocks, out of the Take Off Jess mare Jess Charlena, won the Bank of America Championship Challenge at Remington Park on April 3 and was a stakes winner here last year in this race – the Leo, making him one of only two horses to beat Danjer last year in his championship season. He also won stakes in Claremore, Okla., at Will Rogers Downs and in New Mexico at the Downs at Albuquerque. Record: 18-9-0-4, $338,876.
JETTZ – Was quite the competitor against the top 2-year-olds in the country in 2020, winning an All American Futurity trial by 2-3/4 lengths and then running fourth in the final of the country’s most prestigious and richest race for juveniles at Ruidoso Downs. He ran third to Empressum in the All American Derby last year as a 3-year-old gelded son of One Fabulous Eagle, out of the First Down Dash mare First to Celebrate. He is owned and was bred in Oklahoma by Bobby D. Cox. Juan Vazquez trains. Record: 10-4-1-3, $466,420.
RELENTLESSLY – Another multiple stakes winner that has proven to be tough to beat at Remington Park. The 4-year-old colt by Hes Relentless, out of the Carters Cartel mare Runaway Renata, is coming off an April 16 victory here in the Bob Moore Stakes. It was his second stakes win of the meet as he also took down the Eastex Stakes on March 19. Last year he was equally as successful in Oklahoma City, winning the Heritage Place Derby. Owned by Aguila Negra Racing (Jose Huerta), he is also trained by Huerta. The colt was bred in Texas by Randy and Sandy Coleman. Record: 14-8-3-1, $340,400.
SHOTT GUN – This 4-year-old gray gelding by Valiant Hero, out of the Mr Eye Opener mare Eye Popping, won the prestigious Heritage Place Futurity two years ago at Remington Park. Now a stablemate of Candy Blood, Taylor would send this one out under the ownership of Bobby D. Cox, who also bred him in Texas. A winner of trials last year in the Ruidoso, Rainbow and All American Derbies with no luck winning in the finals. Record: 13-6-2-1, $513,509.
Remington Park racing continues Saturday at 6 p.m., featuring the American Paint Classic Futurity. Sunday’s card at 4 p.m. includes Extreme Racing in conjunction with the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association, featuring Clydesdales, camels, zebras and ostriches on hand to do their bidding.
Tracked by more than 168,000 fans on Facebook and 10,600 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $288 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park will feature the $1,000,000 Heritage Place Futurity and the $250,000 Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship on May 28. Simulcast horse is racing featured daily at Remington Park where the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.